The Jakarta Folk Fair (PRJ) at the National Monument (Monas) complex in Central Jakarta, which opened on Tuesday and lasts until June 15, offers engaging and free entertainment as part of the capital city's 487th anniversary celebration.
Launched by acting Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama on Tuesday, the event differs markedly from the annual Jakarta Fair held in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta. That event will run from June 6 until July 7.
"While the Jakarta Fair in Kemayoran is a national event, the PRJ Monas is more local and more affordable. For instance, there is no entrance fee at the PRJ Monas, while at the Jakarta Fair, entry tickets start at Rp 20,000 [US$1.7]," Ahok said
Open on weekdays from 2 pm until 11 pm, and on weekends from 9am until 11 pm, the PRJ Monas is easy to reach thanks to its strategic location in the city center. You can easily hop on a Transjakarta bus, disembark at Monas bus station and walk straight out into the fairgrounds.
As for what’s on tap, here are a few of the things to check out.
If you love traditional Betawi food, you will definitely love the PRJ, as there is an abundance of affordable options. Some of the available dishes include kerak telor (a traditional Betawi omelet made with duck eggs and rice); gado-gado (a mixed-vegetable dish with peanut sauce); toge goreng (fried bean sprouts); kue ape (a soft-centered cake with a flimsy, yet crisp crust); and bubur sumsum (a rice flour porridge with palm sugar sauce). There are even beverages like bir pletok (Betawi traditional herbal drink) and es doger (a drink made from fresh coconut, black glutinous rice, fermented cassava, coconut milk and syrup) to sample.
Creative local products
Expect to find thousands of booths manned by 2,780 fair vendors offering an assortment of clothes, shoes and traditional toys; most of them locally produced.
Local arts groups are scheduled to perform every day. Be sure not to miss the iconic ondel-ondel (giant effigies) near the monument.
With a mini-amusement park, a children's playground, a carousel, swinging boat rides and a Ferris wheel, the PRJ Monas is a great place for the whole family. Ride tickets cost Rp 15,000 apiece.
In addition to the amusement park, you will find an eye-catching black tent with several attendees in ghost costumes greeting visitors. Named Rumah Hantu Jakarta (Jakarta Haunted House), this will appeal to those who crave mystery and horror. The entrance fee is Rp 20,000 per person.
Getting around the sprawling fair by foot might be tiring. Fortunately, there are bicycles for rent. The tandem bicycles make for an especially interesting jaunt, with rentals costing Rp 15,000 for a 30 minute ride.
If shopping is your thing, then you certainly won’t go home disappointed. The products on offer are diverse, abundant, and most importantly, cheap.